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The Substance of Fire (1996)

 -  Drama  -  14 March 1997 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 504 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 15 user | 13 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Isaac Geldhart is a Holocaust survivor who, overcome by grief at the recent death of his wife, seems determined to run his publishing firm into the ground by printing books that have no ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aaron Geldhart
Benjamin Ungar ...
Young Isaac Geldhart
...
Martin Geldhart
Tom McDermott ...
Old Printer
...
George Morfogen ...
Otto the printer
...
Isaac Geldhart
...
Cora Cahn
...
Mr. Otani jr
Edmund Ikeda ...
Mr. Otani sr
...
Miss Barzakian
...
Val Chenard
...
Gene Byck
Ronny Graham ...
Louis Foukold
John Sullivan ...
Stewart
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Storyline

Isaac Geldhart is a Holocaust survivor who, overcome by grief at the recent death of his wife, seems determined to run his publishing firm into the ground by printing books that have no hope of financial success. His son Aaron, who also works at the company, grows frustrated with Isaac's emotional decline and attempts to take over the firm. The resulting crisis involves Isaac's other two children, his daughter Sarah and his dying son Martin. Written by Jesse Garon <grifter@primenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Doing What Is Right... Could Cost Him Everything.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A tűz melege  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$56,221 (USA) (14 March 1997)

Gross:

$56,221 (USA) (14 March 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Viola Davis. See more »

Quotes

Sarah Geldheart: Tell me the truth. Does anybody actually finish a book once they have formed an opinion of it?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 28 August 1995 (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Requires the viewer to be capable of analyzing a subject.
31 December 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Top notch film? No. Boring as hell? NO. This film will not appeal to people who have no sense of history, family, or the ability to sit still for more than five minutes and analyze something.

The film was fascinating, not always clear as to its intent, but an interesting journey with characters worth watching.

You have a father, a Holocaust survivor, who even in his own madness still believes in the quality of THINGS. In this case it's his publishing house which has been an imprint of quality work. There are, unfortunately, few places for works such as this in our times. Few people have the patience or understanding of quality and workmanship. Thus the conflict with one of his sons. His son wants the imprint to continue but with a much broader audience, quantity above quality. I don't believe it is even about money. It's about moving away from the past. Neither the father or children are completely capable of doing this. The past, the family, has a hold on all of them no matter how they deny it or try to move away from each other.

If you have an understanding of what we have lost by having everything being bought and sold to the lowest common denominator; a family dealing with madness of a beloved relative, and THINGS being valued above the love and respect of others give the film a try. If you have an attention span of a knat try something with Arnold. Some things are worth muddling through just for the rare glimpse of ourselves.


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